Dear prospective applicant:
Thanks to funding from the Divisions of
Sciences, and Materials Research at the
National Science Foundation,
the Department of
Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University will host an on-campus
Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in the summer of
2018. This page answers basic questions about the program, but we also invite
you to visit the links above to learn more about about which projects may be available next summer, what Rutgers and central New Jersey have to offer, how to
contact us if you have questions, and how you can
apply to the program. We thank you for your
interest and hope to see your application soon!
Baker, Sunil Somalwar, & Robert
Bartynski (REU executive committee)
The program is expected to run from May 29 - August 2, 2018. Participants will
generally arrive on campus on May 27 and move out on August 3. (Prospective
applicants for whom these dates are problematic are encouraged to contact us for guidance before submitting
The REU will be hosted by the Department of Physics and Astronomy on the
New Brunswick/Piscataway campus of Rutgers University in central New Jersey.
Students will live in on-campus housing alongside undergraduate participants
in other summer research programs and multiple graduate student resident
advisors. Rutgers is conveniently located on the main train line between
New York and Philadelphia (about an hour away from each) and offers easy
driving access to beaches, mountains, and other recreational opportunities.
The focus of the REU program, as its name suggests, is research.
Each participant will work on a different cutting-edge research project
with a faculty mentor and the other members of his/her research group.
Projects will be drawn from up to three
Participants will present the results of their projects at an undergraduate
research symposium at the end of the summer, and as appropriate will be
encouraged to continue to work on their projects beyond the end of the summer,
and to present their results at a relevant professional conference within
eight months of the end of the program.
- nuclear and high energy physics, and
In addition to working on their individual research projects, participants
will meet together for one afternoon each week for a common set of
professional development activities. These sessions will focus on conveying
the skills and knowledge needed to succeed as graduate school applicants,
graduate students, and/or members of the workforce and will include
preparation for the physics GRE subject test that features a significant demonstration component.
The summer will be punctuated by three all-day field trips to nearby points
of scientific interest (tentatively, Brookhaven National Laboratory, the
Rose Center for Earth and Space of the American Museum of Natural History,
and the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center).
Each REU program participant will receive support in the form of
Participants will also have access to all athletic and recreational
facilities on the Rutgers campus while they are in residence. At any
point after the end of the summer, participants who apply to and are
admitted to Rutgers will be eligible for support from a SUPER Grad (Summer
Pipeline to Excellence at Rutgers Graduate) Fellowship in their first
year of graduate school.
- a $5000 stipend,
- free on-campus housing,
- payment of all of the costs of travel to and from Rutgers, and
- payment of part or all of the costs of attending a relevant professional
For 2018, we will have funding to support up to nine students.
We welcome applications from all U.S. citizens and permanent residents who
will have completed 2 to 3 years of undergraduate coursework but not yet
have earned B.A. or B.S. degrees as of June 2018. Students with limited
opportunities for research at their home institutions, women, members of
underrepresented groups, and veterans are encouraged to apply.
Current Rutgers students are not encouraged to apply, and are instead
invited to explore the opportunities for research that are uniquely available
to our undergraduates via the Aresty Research Center.
for the REU program comprises four elements:
Review of applications will begin on February 9; applicants are
strongly encouraged to make sure all materials (including recommendation
letters) are submitted by this date. Offers of physics projects will be
made on a rolling basis on or after February 23, and offers of
astronomy projects will be made on a rolling basis on or after
March 1; any student who receives an offer will be expected to accept
or decline it within a week.
- A completed online application form.
Once this form is filled out and submitted, you will be assigned a
unique tracking number that is needed for uploading the other elements
of your application. The tracking number will be automatically emailed
to you and the two people writing letters of recommendation on your behalf,
along with instructions on where to upload those documents. (It will be
helpful to your letter-writers if you can submit this initial application
form sooner rather than later.)
- A personal statement.
This should be uploaded as a PDF file that is not more than two pages in
length. It should describe your research interests, your professional
goals, your background and experience, and your hopes for what you'll get
out of participating in the REU program (more details are provided
here). It's OK if your research interests
and/or career plans aren't absolutely set in stone, or if you're
officially majoring in a subject other than physics or astronomy, or if
you don't have any previous research experience, as long as you explain
clearly and specifically how participating in this REU program
will help you grow professionally.
- A current transcript.
This should be uploaded as a PDF file; it can be a scanned version of
your official transcript or an electronic version of your unofficial
- Two letters of recommendation.
Ideally, these should come from math and/or science faculty members
at your home institution who know you at least somewhat well; the
letters should be uploaded by your recommenders as PDF files.
(If you are nervous about asking your professors for yet another set of
recommendation letters, tell them it's OK if they reuse letters that
they sent to other summer programs; we promise not to get bent out of
shape if we see lots of references to "University of X" and none to
Rutgers.) Your recommenders
will receive automatic emails instructing them where to upload their
letters as soon as you submit the online application form, so it
is a good idea to submit that form as soon as possible — and
to check very carefully that you have entered their email addresses
correctly before submitting the form!
Last edited January 4, 2018.